Abir Abdullah


‘PLAYING badminton at this age and with my disability is difficult,' says Zenat Ara Begum, ‘but it's fun anyway.'

She has a special gold medal from the Bangladesh Olympics Association. They organized the first Sports Day for disabled freedom fighters – especially for those in wheelchairs – at Mirpur Stadium in Dhaka, after 32 years of independence.

I knew Zenat but hadn't found an opportunity to talk to her before this Sports Day. She was very excited and curious as she was the only female war veteran to take part.

The gallery of the big stadium was empty and it was evening when I took this shot of her playing badminton.

Thousands of women who took part in the war against Pakistan in 1971 are not recognized as war veterans. My aim is to introduce them to a new generation.

Abir Abdullah Bangladesh

Drik Picture Library Ltd

mag cover This article is from the June 2004 issue of New Internationalist.
You can access the entire archive of over 500 issues with a digital subscription. Get a free trial now »

Subscribe   Ethical Shop